Patrick Wilson reprises his role as suburban dad Josh, a sceptic who resolutely denies the existence of a supernatural being even after witnessing irrefutable proof to the contrary.
Where once only the classiest of film sagas were divided into “chapters”, now such an affectation usually signifies a franchise that was never meant to be. Case in point: Insidious: Chapter 2, the answer to a cinematic question that nobody but its financiers were asking. Part one was an unabashedly camp haunted-house movie, made on a miniscule budget that was later recuperated 60-fold at the box office. So while its premise didn’t call for a sequel, its balance sheet demanded one.
Patrick Wilson reprises his role as suburban dad Josh, a sceptic who resolutely denies the existence of a supernatural being even after witnessing irrefutable proof to the contrary, while Rose Byrne returns as his mildly perturbed-looking wife Renai. Together, they must once again see off a cavalcade of ghouls from “The Further”, a kind of foggy purgatory that’s neatly imagined as an additional dimension of the couple’s own home, allowing the narrative to cross between two versions of the same space.
Where the first film capitalised on the simple horrors of inexplicably slamming doors and nursery rhymes transposed into a minor key, Insidious: Chapter 2 misguidedly attempts to flesh out the story and provide some context for the scares. This means dozens of lengthy dialogue scenes, full of lifeless explanatory words such as “entity” and “vessel”. Far from clarifying things, these serve to make the film a whole lot less satisfying, not least because their total inertia lays bare the grotty digital video the whole thing’s apparently been shot on.
Director James Wan’s earlier Saw franchise became less comprehensible with each new addition to the series. Insidious: Chapter 2, perhaps wary of the same fate, provides three parts tedious explanation for every one part genuine horror. However many more chapters are left in this particular opus, it already feels as if we’re thumbing through the glossary in a desperate attempt to get to the end.
INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 2 – Official Trailer
Entertainment One, Blu-ray & DVD
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